5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

1. Swinging is one of the finer things in life. A few weeks ago we got to hang out near a playground that had swings. As soon as I seen them I ran to one and began to swing as high as I could go. Martins Creek Elementary had the best swings ever. They seemed to go higher than other swings. I’m sure I felt that way because it was my school, my playground. After I’d swung for a while, I gave up my swing to one of the girls and stood, watched, and remembered.

  • How were the boys ever brave enough to hold tight and flip over backwards as they sailed through the air landing safely on their feet every time!
  • When I finally got strong enough to climb up the metal posts on each end of the swings by inching my way upwards a little at a time hand over hand until I reached the top and then dropped to the ground-that was as brave as I ever got-no swinging flips for me.
  • The time one of my friends got up the courage to ask her favorite boy, who was swinging beside her, to go with her…and his response “Where are you going?”
  • Winding the swing as tight as you could get it in one direction and then kicking your feet up high and letting yourself unwind at what seemed like warp speed.

I could never tire of swinging. Maybe I can convince The Deer Hunter to install a swing set like the one above in the backyard.

2. Who knew a 50 cent game of Old Maid could entertain teenage girls and their friends for hours.

3. My granny woman girl has made a variety of tinctures to doctor us with this winter. She says she’s prepared for any illness or injury that may arise. I don’t know whether to be happy or slightly scared.

4. Blind Pig reader, Belva Jean Mooner (best name ever!!!), once had a babydoll made from sawdust. I’m trying to find enough sawdust to mail to her so she can make one herself.

5. The Blind Pig & the Acorn redesign is about to happen…like hopefully at the end of this week. I needed to update the blog because the Blind Pig and The Acorn isn’t responsive. If you’ve tried to view it on your phone or tablet you’ve probably already realized that. Making the blog responsive means that what ever device you use, the Blind Pig and The Acorn will look right and you’ll actually be able to read it!  I’ll need your help for this. There’ll probably be some bumps and hiccups as the change takes place. I hope you’ll help me by letting me know how it looks on your end and if you see something wonky let me know about that too. Don’t worry the only changes you’ll notice are cosmetic. The Blind Pig and The Acorn will still be the place to get your daily dose of Appalachia.



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  • Reply
    Janet Pressley
    November 1, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Always loved the swings!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 30, 2015 at 12:46 am

    We had swings at Almond too but the line was so long that if your class didn’t let out for recess early, it was over before you got to swing. My only consolation was that my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Merrill lived right down the road from the school and when I got to spend the night with them, we could go back after school was out and could do anything we wanted to. I felt like the King of the World. That was, of course, if Joe, Billy and Neal wanted to go back to the playground. It was always there for them. Bore ring!!
    It is a shame that most of your readership couldn’t have experienced Appalachia as it really was/is. Many of the people that live(d) there didn’t really experience it. They have superimposed their lives over the worst of what they saw and claimed it as their own. The fact that what they did and still do is to the detriment of those who love where they live and live where they love is lost to them. I really do feel sorry for them!
    Some of our Appalachian kin still do not access to the internet or choose not to subscribe. Some do not have television. Do I pity them? No! They are what I chose to be but was not strong enough to accomplish. The World is stronger that any of us. Or maybe it is just me. There are some still in the battle. They have not given up yet. I hope and pray that they will be victorious. I am fully confident that even if they do not win, they will die trying!
    Too many people equate Appalachian with southern. Appalachian people have a kindred with many peoples over this planet. But its more about the terrain than the latitude. You and I are lucky to be Southern Appalachian but the emphases should always be on Appalachian!

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    October 29, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I sure loved the swings at the park when I was a kid. I loved soaring through the air. Don’t know that I could get my big behind in one now.
    I sure would love to read Dorie: Woman of the Mountains! Thank you for the chance to win!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Boy,, did you bring back memories. I remember flipping out backwards when we would swing.. When they came out with the Dingo Boot, a Buddy and I were swinging and flipping out backwards to see who could go the farther-est backwards, Well, long story short, I won, he got the ring of the dingo boot hung in the “S” hook on the swing seat (how I don’t know and neither did he) and it slammed him on the ground like a wet rag.. I can still see him, dust a flying.. I thought it had killed him, I just had to laugh at first then it got serious, he was really hurt..

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    October 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Never did well on swings until I got older. When I was a child, I was good for about two swings before I’d lean over the edge and barf. LOL
    Porch swings now were never a problem, but kid swings were for quite a number of years.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I miss swinging. When I was teaching, I’d often join the kids at recess!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Many fond memories:
    – My Kansas Grandma’s neighbor had a swing in a tall Catalpa tree that swung out over a deep drainage ditch by the dirt road. Not like swinging on top of a mountain but I still felt like I was about to fly to the clouds. Grandma had a tire swing hung horizontal from a big elm (?) which could hold 3 or 4 giggling cousins.
    – loved playing card and domino games of all kinds – even made up a few games –
    – am looking forward to hearing about the remedies – wonder what she has for the flu – a stomach version has already hit our area. Somewhere I read that drinking the liquid from homemade sauerkraut is supposed to settle the stomach. Do you or any of your readers have any experience with that?
    – never had a sawdust doll but made rag dolls and marionettes by stuffing them with cotton from the fields when I could get material from the fabric scraps being saved for quilts and rag rugs. I spent several summers with my little sewing box under the arbor vitaes.
    – I have not even begun on the upward swing of the learning curve on my new Samsung Galaxy; before that we were still making do with a cell phone that was so old the security folks at the airport didn’t recognize it! 😉 Now is that because the phone was too old or the security folks way too young ?!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve been with you since just about the time you started. I checked out a lot of blogs, but none compare to the Blind Pig and the Acorn.
    Our entire Church use to go over to Beechertown and play on those huge swings, play shuffleboard, and enjoy some of the best dinners you could imagine. Those were some great memories of my youth.
    I agree with my friend Jim about
    not taking to Change very well.
    I had to go over to Hayesville to
    the Moss Library to learn more
    on the computer, so I could quote
    and be a member of the Defense

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    October 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Swinging! I’m as old as the hills, and I still love to swing. The experience is enhanced if you recite
    Robert Louis Stevenson’s wonderful poem while you are swinging:
    How do you like to go up in a swing,
    Up in the air so blue?
    Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    Ever a child can do!
    Up in the air and over the wall,
    Till I can see so wide,
    Rivers and trees and cattle and all
    Over the countryside—
    Till I look down on the garden green,
    Down on the roof so brown—
    Up in the air I go flying again,
    Up in the air and down!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Playground swings,
    are finer things!
    But grape and kudzu are better!

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    October 29, 2015 at 11:05 am

    My home as a child was on top of a hill. There were huge tall trees in the yard, my Daddy hung a swing in the high branch of one tree. Dont know how he got it that high. I always wondered. Anyway, the swing would go way up in the air. With the hill, you were really high. My Momma was always afraid that I would fall out of it. He made the swing with a back and sides and a seatbelt. So it was safe unless the rope broke. I would probably have never let my kids in it. All the cousins loved that swing. Barbara

  • Reply
    Debbie Nobles
    October 29, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I have always had a swing it’s in my blood my grandma, Daddy and now me,.I have wonderful memories of sitting in the swing and talking to Daddy. I love to take a book and my lunch out to the swing. My new adopted Border Collie Astro likes to sit and swing with me. We never had swings at school but once I got home that was were you could find me.

  • Reply
    Leilani Worrell
    October 29, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Even though my parents hailed from Illinois and Oklahoma, I hear a lot of the wisdom I learned from my daddy in some of your blogs about your neck of the woods (by the way, where did “the neck of the woods” come from?). My dad taught me the value of honest work and responsibility from watching him go to work (he was a plumber) every day, and even if he had to travel a hundred miles to a job, he did it because he had a family to take care of. I always felt loved and never missed a meal; always had clothes on my back, and stayed warm in the winter and cool in the summer, even if that meant playing in a sprinkler in the front yard (we grew up in the southern California desert). And he helped his mom quilt and he knew a few old remedies, like tobacco makes an ant sting stop immediately. Well, I didn’t mean to get carried away, but I wanted to tell you that a suburb-raised girl treasures the old tried-and-true methods you frequently mention, as well as the love of family and tradition. Thanks for listening!

  • Reply
    Sandy Kirby Quandt
    October 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Winding the swing round and round, then letting go was the best! I’d probably make myself too dizzy to stand if I tried it now.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 29, 2015 at 9:06 am

    You keep taking us back and grounding us in the simple things, like swings and Old Maid. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m convinced that whatever ‘secret’ of life there is, it’s right in front of us in the simple things. I think your girls have learned that well also. And I am so glad because sometimes the bad news is overwhelming. Thanks.
    I note your use of “wonky” and I smile. I think it is British slang. We have heard it on BBC’s “Keeping Up Appearances” where Hyacinth talks about her ‘wonky telly’. We have begun to use it to. Somehow it seems particularly apt in describing something not working as it should.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Enjoy that swing! Sometimes as we get older the only thing we keep intact is our sense of humor. Last time I crawled into a swing with some friends, I got a bad case of Sciatica. Who would have believed? It seems I can work like a trooper, but have had to give up those innocent pleasures such as bike riding and swinging.
    Looking forward to your new Blind Pig.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 29, 2015 at 8:08 am

    My Aunt Reva, my mother’s youngest sister, used to say that if you swing, rock or crochet you will never go crazy. I can see how soothing rocking and swinging are but when I tried to learn to crochet it almost drove me crazy.
    There used to be wonderful swings at the park in Canton. They were right in front of the pool. The frame was really tall strong steel pipes. They were my all time favorite swings.
    Now I settle for rocking. I can’t risk going crazy and I never learned to crochet!

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    October 29, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I would love to hear more about your young granny woman’s remedies.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 29, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Tipper–This troglodyte Luddite of a Blind Pig reader hasn’t been in the least troubled by responsiveness on my phone or tablet. I don’t own one of the latter things and in fact am not 100% sure what one is in modern lingo (to me a tablet is a pad of sheets for taking notes). I have, under duress and the press of family circumstances, gotten a put-in-your-pocket phone, but it takes all of my minimal intelligence, along with a good deal of trial-and-error, to turn the blooming thing on. As for all the applications or whatever they are called, forget it.
    All that being said, for your readers who live in the modern world, I hope the upgrades work well.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    October 29, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Swinging was always something fun to do as a child and as an adult. I still hop on a swing when I see one. I’d be interested in some of Granny’s natural cures – looking forward to those. Now a sawdust doll – I don’t think I have ever seen one. What holds the sawdust together? Old Maid, I still enjoy that game. At least I can win once in a while and not be the old maid.

  • Reply
    Charles Fletcher
    October 29, 2015 at 7:41 am


  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 29, 2015 at 7:22 am

    If you need sawdust for Belva Jean, I have plenty. I am a woodturner and I generate a 30-gallon trash can full of fine chips (a bit courser than the dust from a saw) about every two or three days!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 29, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I have always loved the swing, it allows you to take a trip in your mind, enjoy being, and to relax and forget all your troubles. Think I will go find one right now

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 29, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Tipper, I love swinging too! I have so many memories of swinging. My uncle put two rope swings up in his garage and the ropes were really long in order to fasten them to the rafters. We would wind these two swings up together and then someone would give them a huge push and we would fly around the room unwinding. It was just like going to the rides. My grandchildren will swing for as long as I have the strength to push them. Swinging is the best!

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    October 29, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Yes! Martins Creek School had THE BEST swings ever! I was like you and did not try to flip out.
    I can’t wait to hear what remedies your Granny woman girl has made.

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